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Choose Your Own Adventure (1979-1998)

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Publishers:Bantam -- United States
Gareth Stevens Publishing -- United States
Grey Castle Press -- United States
Lippincott -- United States
Troll -- United States
Categories:Complexity Level : Basic (No Game System)
Format : Hardback
Format : Paperback
Genre : Adventure
Genre : Contemporary Fiction
Genre : Fantasy
Genre : Historical Fiction
Genre : Horror
Genre : Mystery
Genre : Science Fiction
Genre : Sports Fiction
Genre : Western
Product Family : Choose Your Own Adventure
Target Age Group : Older Children
Writing Style : Present Tense
Writing Style : Second Person
Translated Into:1000 Gefahren (German)
Adobenchaa Bukkusu [アドベンチャーブックス] (Japanese)
Aukeratu zeure abentura (Basque)
Boken med…olika slut (Swedish)
Choisis ta propre aventure (French)
Choisis ton aventure (French)
Choose Your Own Adventure (Farsi)
Du er hovedpersonen (Danish)
Du und dein Abenteuer (German)
Elige tu propia aventura (1981) (Spanish)
Elige tu propia aventura (1983-1998, Argentina) (Spanish)
Elige tu propia aventura (1983-1998, Spain) (Spanish)
Escolha sua aventura (Portuguese)
Escolhe a tua própria aventura (Portuguese)
Is kahani ke hiro ap hain (Urdu)
Izberi svoeto priklyuchenie! [Избери своето приключение!] (Bulgarian)
Kies je eigen avontuur (Dutch)
Kies jou eie avontuur (Afrikaans)
Kimi nara dou suru? [きみならどうする?] (Japanese)
Kraj po vaša želba (Macedonian)
Macera tüneli dizisi (Turkish)
Odaberi svoju pustolovinu (Serbo-Croatian)
Pilih sendiri pengembaraan anda (Malay)
Pilih sendiri petualanganmu (Indonesian)
Scegli la tua avventura (Italian)
Tria la teva aventura (Catalan)
Valitse oma seikkailusi (Finnish)
Vibery sebe priklyucheniye [Выбери себе приключение] (Russian)
Vyber si vlastné dobrodružstvo (Slovakian)
Vyber si vlastní dobrodružství (Czech)
Zìwǒ Lìxiǎn Cóngshū [自我歷險叢書] (Chinese)
Þitt eigið ævintýri (Icelandic)

With close to two hundred titles, Choose Your Own Adventure is by far the longest-running gamebook series. It grew out of Edward Packard's Adventures of You Series, with its first manifestation being Lippincott's hardback release of Deadwood City and The Third Planet from Altair which, while not yet officially part of a series, featured the phrase "Choose Your Own Adventure" on the covers. However, it was when Bantam acquired the rights to release the books in paperback starting in 1979 that the series' full potential was realized, and the books almost single-handedly started the American gamebook boom of the eighties. They made less of an impression in England, where The Third Planet from Altair was retitled Exploration Infinity and included in the single-volume Plot-It-Yourself Adventures in Space series and Deadwood City was released as a stand-alone hardback and paperback, but the majority of titles were available only as imports.

The books almost entirely avoid gimmickry, so there’s never any coin-flipping or dice-rolling to confuse the flow of reading and making choices. The books cover an extremely broad array of subject matter, but there is some continuity between certain books in the series. Some stories follow straight on from each other, while others feature recurring characters (like the adventurous Dr. Nera Vivaldi) or themes (as in a long sequence of titles revolving around martial arts).

There were several major spin-offs from the series. The first was Choose Your Own Adventure for Younger Readers, which simply takes the format and tailors it for a younger audience. Taking this idea to a further extreme inspired the Your First Adventure series and the Choose Your Own Adventure – Walt Disney books. Going the other way and making the books longer led to Choose Your Own Adventure Super Adventure, while an experiment in more solid story arcs and recurring characters led to Choose Your Own Adventure – Passport and Choose Your Own Adventure – Space Hawks. An effort to ride the success of R. L. Stine's Goosebumps books inspired Choose Your Own Nightmare, and lucrative license agreements made possible Choose Your Own Adventure – The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles and Choose Your Own Star Wars Adventure, the last series of books to bear the Choose Your Own Adventure name until the label was revived almost a decade later for the Choose Your Own Adventure Reissues and Interactive Movies.

The books in the series have been released in a variety of forms. The most common are Bantam's editions, most of which are the standard size for small paperbacks, though the last nine titles in the series were released in a larger format more reminiscent of the Choose Your Own Adventure for Younger Readers books. In addition to the previously mentioned Lippincott hardbacks, various titles can be found in large print hardback format thanks to the efforts of Grey Castle Press and Gareth Stevens Publishing. The books are listed below in the order of their paperback publication, as this is the sequence by which they are numbered; however, in terms of chronological release, book eight came first, then book seven, then the rest.


     Choose Your Own Adventure Box Set (73-77)
     Choose Your Own Adventure Box Set (88-92)
     Choose Your Own Adventure Box Set 1
     Choose Your Own Adventure Box Set 2
     Choose Your Own Adventure Box Set 3
     Choose Your Own Adventure Box Set 4
     Choose Your Own Adventure Box Set 5
     Choose Your Own Adventure Fantasy Box Set
     Choose Your Own Adventure Martial Arts Box Set
     Choose Your Own Adventure Space Box Set


     1. The Cave of Time
     2. Journey Under the Sea
     3. By Balloon to the Sahara
     4. Space and Beyond
     5. The Mystery of Chimney Rock
     6. Your Code Name is Jonah
     7. The Third Planet from Altair
     8. Deadwood City
     9. Who Killed Harlowe Thrombey?
     10. The Lost Jewels of Nabooti
     11. Mystery of the Maya
     12. Inside UFO 54-40
     13. The Abominable Snowman
     14. The Forbidden Castle
     15. House of Danger
     16. Survival at Sea
     17. The Race Forever
     18. Underground Kingdom
     19. Secret of the Pyramids
     20. Escape
     21. Hyperspace
     22. Space Patrol
     23. The Lost Tribe
     24. Lost on the Amazon
     25. Prisoner of the Ant People
     26. The Phantom Submarine
     27. The Horror of High Ridge
     28. Mountain Survival
     29. Trouble on Planet Earth
     30. The Curse of Batterslea Hall
     31. Vampire Express
     32. Treasure Diver
     33. The Dragons' Den
     34. The Mystery of the Highland Crest
     35. Journey to Stonehenge
     36. The Secret Treasure of Tibet
     37. War with the Evil Power Master
     38. Sabotage
     39. Supercomputer
     40. The Throne of Zeus
     41. Search for the Mountain Gorillas
     42. The Mystery of Echo Lodge
     43. Grand Canyon Odyssey
     44. The Mystery of Ura Senke
     45. You Are a Shark
     46. The Deadly Shadow
     47. Outlaws of Sherwood Forest
     48. Spy for George Washington
     49. Danger at Anchor Mine
     50. Return to the Cave of Time
     51. The Magic of the Unicorn
     52. Ghost Hunter
     53. The Case of the Silk King
     54. Forest of Fear
     55. The Trumpet of Terror
     56. The Enchanted Kingdom
     57. The Antimatter Formula
     58. Statue of Liberty Adventure
     59. Terror Island
     60. Vanished!
     61. Beyond Escape!
     62. Sugarcane Island
     63. Mystery of the Secret Room
     64. Volcano!
     65. The Mardi Gras Mystery
     66. Secret of the Ninja
     67. Seaside Mystery
     68. Secret of the Sun God
     69. Rock and Roll Mystery
     70. Invaders of the Planet Earth
     71. Space Vampire
     72. The Brilliant Dr. Wogan
     73. Beyond the Great Wall
     74. Longhorn Territory
     75. Planet of the Dragons
     76. The Mona Lisa is Missing!
     77. The First Olympics
     78. Return to Atlantis
     79. Mystery of the Sacred Stones
     80. The Perfect Planet
     81. Terror in Australia
     82. Hurricane!
     83. Track of the Bear
     84. You Are a Monster
     85. Inca Gold
     86. Knights of the Round Table
     87. Exiled to Earth
     88. Master of Kung Fu
     89. South Pole Sabotage
     90. Mutiny in Space
     91. You Are a Superstar
     92. Return of the Ninja
     93. Captive!
     94. Blood on the Handle
     95. You Are a Genius
     96. Stock Car Champion
     97. Through the Black Hole
     98. You Are a Millionaire
     99. Revenge of the Russian Ghost
     100. The Worst Day of Your Life
     101. Alien, Go Home!
     102. Master of Tae Kwon Do
     103. Grave Robbers
     104. The Cobra Connection
     105. The Treasure of the Onyx Dragon
     106. Hijacked!
     107. Fight for Freedom
     108. Master of Karate
     109. Chinese Dragons
     110. Invaders from Within
     111. Smoke Jumper
     112. Skateboard Champion
     113. The Lost Ninja
     114. Daredevil Park
     115. The Island of Time
     116. Kidnapped!
     117. The Search for Aladdin's Lamp
     118. Vampire Invaders
     119. The Terrorist Trap
     120. Ghost Train
     121. Behind the Wheel
     122. Magic Master
     123. Silver Wings
     124. Superbike
     125. Outlaw Gulch
     126. Master of Martial Arts
     127. Showdown
     128. Viking Raiders
     129. Earthquake!
     130. You Are Microscopic
     131. Surf Monkeys
     132. The Luckiest Day of Your Life
     133. The Forgotten Planet
     134. Secret of the Dolphins
     135. Playoff Champion
     136. Roller Star
     137. Scene of the Crime
     138. Dinosaur Island
     139. Motocross Mania
     140. Horror House
     141. The Secret of Mystery Hill
     142. The Reality Machine
     143. Project UFO
     144. Comet Crash
     145. Everest Adventure
     146. Soccer Star
     147. The Antimatter Universe
     148. Master of Judo
     149. Search the Amazon!
     150. Who Are You?
     151. Gunfire at Gettysburg
     152. War with the Mutant Spider Ants
     153. Last Run
     154. Cyberspace Warrior
     155. Ninja Cyborg
     156. You Are an Alien
     157. U.N. Adventure
     158. Sky-Jam!
     159. Tattoo of Death
     160. The Computer Takeover
     161. Possessed!
     162. Typhoon!
     163. Shadow of the Swastika
     164. Fright Night
     165. Snowboard Racer
     166. Master of Aikido
     167. Moon Quest
     168. Hostage!
     169. Terror on the Titanic
     170. Greed, Guns, and Gold
     171. Death in the Dorm
     172. Mountain Biker
     173. The Gold Medal Secret
     174. The Power Dome
     175. The Underground Railroad
     176. Master of Kendo
     177. Killer Virus
     178. River of No Return
     179. Ninja Avenger
     180. Stampede!
     181. Fire on Ice
     182. Fugitive
     183. CyberHacker
     184. Mayday!
     185. Escape from the Haunted Warehouse

Reference Books

     How to Write a Book Like a Choose Your Own Adventure Book

Related Documents


Choose Your Own Adventure Atari Contest
Advertisement from the promotional teacher's copy of Inside UFO 54-40.


Choose Your Own Adventure - The Abominable Snowman: Differences
This article compares the original and revised editions of The Abominable Snowman

Evolution of Sugarcane Island
This article compares the original and revised editions of Sugarcane Island.

Related Links

The Cave of Time: Narrative Map
This graphic shows an annotated map of the structure of The Cave of Time. (last verified: 2014-08-01)

The Cave of Time: Structural Analysis
This page provides a detailed analysis of the structure of The Cave of Time. (last verified: 2014-08-01)

David Archwamety's Choose Your Own Adventure page
Here are some reviews of the Choose Your Own Adventure books along with some useful information on the series. (last verified: 2004-06-09)

Facebook: Choose Your Own Adventure
This is the Facebook fan page for Choose Your Own Adventure. (last verified: 2012-01-27)

User Comments

I remember it well, circa 1983 our Primary School Librarian Ms. Eggers would read my class a CYOA book each Tuesday afternoon. Whenever there was a decision to be made we'd have a show of hands, and democracy ruled. I loved it and was hooked, wanted to get discover more of these books for myself.

So with the money I received for my 10th birthday I went out and bought the brand new Trouble on Planet Earth.

For most of the rest of the 80s I always scanned the newsagent stands for the new CYOA book.

28 years after the first CYOA I now have over 100.

-- benji2

I first got into the CYOA books when I was in elementary school, and they were an awesome part of my childhood. For some strange reason, though, the two libraries I visit don't have a section with all the CYOA books; instead, they're grouped in small "cells" in each library's children's books section.

-- DukeNukem 2417

Making Choices Books For Kids is what got me hooked. I got that from my Aunt.

Looking for others, and failing, I wrote my Roller Coaster Adventure, never to be published. I even wrote others, which ended up trashed. To this day I regret it; so I'd remember how I started.

The first Choose Your Own Adventure I ever found was at the flea market: Dinosaur Island. Of course Making Choices Books were all I was looking for at the time.

The second I also remember: Cave of Time.

From there I've kept collecting them.

I'm hoping to write and publish my own CYOA type books soon; the first will be out this year, or 2017.

-- Good

These books, which I mostly read in the early and mid 1990s, are what got me initally interested in gamebooks in general.

Now that I'm much older, I look back on them with a fond nostalgia. All the times I'd get them out from the library, mapping out every possible route and ending.

Great times.

-- Haoie

Ahhh... Choose Your Own Adventure. The series that started it all (for the most part).

This was the series that got me into interactive storybooks quite by accident back in the mid-nineties when I was about six years old. I was going to kindergarten at the time, and I checked out a book that was hardcover but which had a plain white dust jacket (presumably to help it survive better in a library). It was called Your Code Name is Jonah -- I checked it out because I liked the story of Jonah and the whale... it turned out that it was actually the sixth CYOA book (about spies and KGB agents). It was dated at the time, but I LOVED it... I even got a happy ending on my first read! Ahhh, the nostalgia.

Speaking of nostalgia, the classic series has been reissued. Go to for more information. I haven't personally seen any of the reissue titles yet, but I'm glad that a new generation will be able to enjoy these. Most of the reissued books are written by R. A. Montgomery, who is doing the reissuing. They have a new order, unfortunately, and some of the titles I'd like to see aren't in there, but it's a good start. Also, did you know that two of the authors from this series (R. A. Montgomery and Shannon Gilligan) are married? I have no idea whether they married because of Choose Your Own Adventure, or if romance came first... but it was fun visiting that website!

-- stonemason

I first encountered the series in my school library during elementary school. I had read the series for younger readers before and wanted to know what the "big kid" series was like. The first title that I read, I believe, was Spy for George Washington. I've been hooked ever since.

One interesting thing to note is that, despite the fact that the books each have varied stories, several characters and themes reoccur throughout the series. There's Gilliam Prem (The Mystery of Chimney Rock and Who Killed Harlowe Thrombey?), Ricardo and Lisa (House of Danger and The Horror of High Ridge), and, of course, Dr. Vivaldi (Hyperspace, The Third Planet from Altair, and Underground Kingdom, just to name a few). Then there's the concept of a cave which allows whoever enters it to travel through time, which appears multiple times in the series (The Cave of Time, The First Olympics, and more), and even once in the series for younger readers (A Day with the Dinosaurs).

-- Waluigi Freak 99

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